2022 PGA Betting Preview: Jon Rahm the Golfer To Beat at The American Express

The PGA Tour heads to California after a couple of weeks in Hawaii where the The American Express is host to a pro-am played across three courses at the incredible La Quinta. 

The Stadium Course is where the final days play will be made but The Nicklaus Course and La Quinta Country Club will be used until Saturday.

Jon Rahm, a former winner here, headlines the field. He has an excellent record in this part of the world. Half of his wins on tour have come in California and it would be no surprise to see him add another on Sunday. He started the year in great form at the Tournament of Champions where he could easily have lost his grip on the number one spot in the rankings. He took a week off last week and should be ready to go at a place he obviously feels at home at. Rahm can challenge at any course he turns up at, but feeling at home can make such a difference. At 6/1 his price is very short, particularly at an event with lots of potential winners, but picking against the fiery Spaniard may be a bad decision. 

The obvious threat to Rahm is Patrick Cantlay. The FedEx Cup winner finished 2021 in style and will be keen to carry that into this year. He got off to a strong start in Hawaii and has a great record at these courses. He finished as runner up last year and he can go one better here. The event has the fewest putts per green on the entire PGA Tour and as we saw in the playoffs last season, when his putter gets hot he is hard to beat. 

It is not just about the bigger names though. Between 2016 and 2019 there was a player that finished 6-2-3-2 and he is available at 90/1. Adam Hadwin has just one PGA Tour win the 2017 Valspar where he beat out Cantlay incidentally but he is a player that has been there or thereabouts so many times. His form leaves something to be desired but as we saw with the likes of Matt Kuchar last week, course form can often count for a lot in these events. 

Abraham Ancer fresh off a big new deal with Callaway is a player that many are picking for a real breakout in 2022. He got his first win at the back end of last season but he has always felt like a player that once he breaks through, he will become a serial winner.  He is one of the most accurate drivers in the field and that will be key to winning at La Quinta. He also has excellent approach play and while he is not the best putter on tour, he is very solid on the greens. If 6/1 and 9/1 are a bit too short for you in this sort of field, then 28/1 for the talented Mexican could be what you are looking for. 

Si Woo Kim is the defending champion here and it is no surprise to see him have success at a Pete Dye course. He has a phenomenal record at Dye’s courses most notably his win in the Players Championship at Sawgrass and he is likely to be amongst the contenders again here. He is a rather generous looking 50/1 to add to his three PGA Tour victories. 

Some players in the field are yet to start so far this season, but Seamus Power is one of the few to have made both starts in Hawaii and he took advantage of that. Two top 15s, including a third place at last week’s Sony Open, has seen the Irishman get off to a great start to the year. He is very much in the swing of things and has the game to step up in class. His single PGA Tour win came at the Barbasol Championship and while this is a much stronger field, there is perhaps nobody playing better right now. He leads the tour in par four scoring this season and after breaking into the world’s top 50 last week, he will want to prove he is deserving of his place. 

This tournament can be great to watch with the three different courses in play. There should be plenty of birdies made out there and that always makes for an exciting Sunday where there is the potential for somebody to make up plenty of places.

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